Friday, February 23, 2018

Aflatoxin in corn

Aflatoxin is a cancer-causing by-product of mold that contaminated corn during drought. Aflatoxins characterized as aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2 are potent hepatotoxic and carcinogenic metabolites of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus that grow on agricultural commodities.

Consequently, they are of great concern as food contaminants and are closely monitored in oily-seeded crops and dairy products.

Aflatoxin formation can occur while the product is in the field or after harvesting. Improper post-harvest treatment of the commodity, i.e. insufficient drying, improper storage conditions, etc., can result in increased levels of aflatoxins.

Contamination of aflatoxins in corn profusely happens at pre-harvest stage when heat and drought field conditions favor A. flavus colonization.

Corn is major ingredient of swine, poultry and cattle feed. Animal losses from aflatoxin in corn, causing mortality and subtle losses in weight gain and feed conversion have been costly.

Because aflatoxin is one of the most potent cancer-causing substances created in nature the Food and Drug Administration sets limits for the amount allowed in food as low as one-half part per billion in milk.
Aflatoxin in corn

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